The 2015 OUA regular season football schedule was supposed to be released before Christmas. It doesn’t look like that is happening. I think I know the reason why.
Le Journal de Quebec broke the news this week of a “l’ambitieux projet” (i.e. an ambitious project) initiated by David Dube that would substantially impact the OUA schedule if it were to go ahead. I’m very much in favour of this idea. It would be great to play two elite, out-of-conference teams in meaningful games during the regular season. And for them to be on national television.
The fact that under this plan each school continues to play in their current conference, and compete for conference championships, only makes it better. I’d have some issues with a system that created new conferences or two tiers. This is more like the NCAA situation where a team plays an 8 or 9 game conference games plus several more out-of-conference games. If it means one (or two) fewer OUA games on the schedule, then so be it. I’d much rather have a game at Alumni Stadium against Laval or Calgary than have to watch a match-up with one of the OUA’s weak sister programs.
Below is the Google Translate version of the article with a few corrections I’ve added to make it more readable. Here is the link to the original story – Un calendrier national à l’étude.
A prominent businessman of Saskatchewan has ambitious project to establish a national schedule involving the Country’s top eight college football teams.
The first step will be Thursday in Toronto, where David Dubé will meet 10 head coaches to explain the outline of his project, which is a schedule where each of the eight teams would play two teams from outside the conference. We would find four teams from Ontario and two from Quebec and the West.
The goal is to interest an English television network that would broadcast a game every week.
President and CEO of the Concord Group, which employs 750 people in different spheres of activity, Dubé would pick up the bill for television production if the project goes ahead and universities will pay the cost of transportation and accommodation.
The eight teams will continue to play in their respective conferences. The Rouge et Or at Laval University and University Carabins in Montreal again face off twice and will play two parties outside of their conference, one at home and one on the road.
The championships will be maintained in each conference, as the formula of the national semifinals.
No new division
In addition to generating interest across the country, the national schedule would not create two divisions, which would remove one of the most important concerns of smaller universities and reduce the parts in one direction due to a redesigned schedule.
The teams from September to November in the OUA would face twice, while Laval and Montreal would not be in the running for the parties interconférences with the Atlantic.
A match between Quebec and the Atlantic could also be televised.
Representatives of Laval, Western, McMaster, Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier, Carleton, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and UBC will be present at the meeting to be held at a hotel in downtown Toronto.
The Carabins were also contacted, but head coach Danny Maciocia is on vacation outside the country and may not be present. The Blues will not be excluded either.
Several coaches became aware of the project on November 28, during a luncheon held in Montreal on the eve of the Vanier Cup.
As for the envoys of UBC and Carleton teams, that will not be stakeholders in the national calendar initially, they will be on hand to validate the mechanisms for the promotion and demotion could be set up.
If all goes well, Dubé wants to meet with athletic directors at the next meeting in January.
* * *
Be sure to include dream team
Laval Université leaders hesitated before giving the green light to head coach Glen Constantin to participate in a meeting with some of his colleagues in Toronto.
“It was important to ensure that the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) is aware of the process and be present at the meeting,” said the Director of sports (SAS), Christian Gagnon. To avoid the “popcorn effect” where projects are springing up everywhere. Decision makers will be present.
“You cannot be against virtue, but make sure to include the dream team,” continued Gagnon. “It’s interesting that an individual wants to improve the network, but we have to follow a process. We talk about having a day devoted entirely to football in June, on the occasion of our meeting.”
Get it right
Gagnon does not want to rush things. “We all want to improve the situation, but our product is not so bad. We must take the time to do it right. It is the athletic directors that will make the decisions, not the coaches.”
“We must not think only eight teams, but the 27 football teams in the country,” said the former head of the Vert & Or, University of Sherbrooke. “It is certain that, as managers, we have a more macroeconomic perspective than coaches and supporters. These are the directions that will determine the way forward. We must take time and evaluate the costs associated with such a project.”
As for the national television contract, Gagnon warns that the reality of Quebec is different from Ontario and the West.
“We did not sign a contract for next season, but the pact must be respected in the event that there would be a game of the week. Between our six teams, one must determine what we want. Is equity sought or the best product every week? When we make our decision, we will begin negotiations with the networks.”